Dear Safemama: Natural vs. Conventional Edition

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/25/09 •  3 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:18 am

I have been slowly making the switch of all my daughters bath/body products to all natural/organic. My only concern is that I’ve noticed most of the organic and natural products Do Not have any safety seals on them as opposed to the others like J&J, etc.  Just wondering?

Here’s what I’ve learned about “safety seals” since starting this whole greener beauty care thing.   They mean squat, whether or not you buy conventional beauty products, or organic.   Now granted, there are beauty products that are USDA certified and in order for them to claim that, they MUST be at least 95% organic to bear that label.  Also, according to Stephanie and bubbleandbee.com, there are A LOT of steps, and precautions you have to take to not only get certified, but also do to maintain that certification.  Reading about it just made my head spin.

But overall, the beauty and skincare industry are unregulated and that includes natural skin care.   Sure, Johnson’s Baby has a “safety seal” but it really doesn’t mean much.   It’s one of the main reasons why we well people to read labels.   Take a look at the original Johnson’s Baby body wash.   It’s full of PEG’s, fragrance (phthalates, which they say they’re phasing out at some point), and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, to name a few.   Sure it’s “safe” to put on your baby, but do you really want to put that on their skin?  To me, that safety seal no longer really matters.

The bottom line is that we’re constantly telling people that learning to read and decipher labels will take time, but really this is your best weapon against choosing something that’s safer for you and your family.  Not to mention really empowering.  I can’t help but feel proud of the fact that I can take a glance at the back of a bottle and know what the ingredients are and whether or not I want to buy it for my family.    There’s also a certain level of trust there with companies that make more natural products.  I truly believe that while there are probably companies out there that are greenwashing, there are  more who have created a safer product because they had a reason to and wanted others to benefit.    Sure we have recommendations, but that only takes you so far.  In the end, it’s really all about what you feel is best for you and your family.   You are the primary safety patrol person!

ETA:  It has come to my attention via my pregnant cohort, that you were probably talking about the safety seals on top of the bottle.  I thought about that after I posted.  I’m not afraid to laugh at my own pregnant stupidity, as it’s becoming a regular occurance in this house (and I don’t have a direct answer for you on that actual question).    And to think she’s the blonde one!

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